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Flag of Colombia

The flag of Colombia was adopted on November 26, 1863. It is a horizontal tricolour of yellow, blue and red. The yellow stripe takes up the top half of the flag and the blue and red take up a quarter of the space each.

Symbolism and design

The horizontal stripes (from top to bottom) of yellow, blue and red tricolour have a ration of 2:1:1. It - together with that of Ecuador, also derived from the Flag of Gran Colombia - is different from most other tricolour flags, either vertical or horizontal, in having strips which are not equal in size. .

The official colors have not yet been established by law. However, it is recommended to use the following:

According to the current interpretation, the colours signify:

 Yellow: represents all the gold found in the Colombian land.

 Blue: represents the seas on Colombia's shores.

 Red: represents the blood spilled on the battlegrounds by the heroes who gained Colombia's freedom.

Other variations on the interpretation of the colours exist, such as, "Yellow, for the sun and land of the people. Blue, for the water that holds up the people and finally, Red, for the blood shed by the people who fought for the independence of Colombia."

Although there are no regulations stating the shape of the flag, it traditionally is established at 2:3.


Francisco de Miranda was the person who originally created the common yellow, blue and red flag of Gran Colombia that Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, with slight variations, share today. Miranda gave at least two sources of inspiration for his flag. In a letter written to Count Simon Romanovich Woronzoff (Vorontsov) in 1792, Miranda stated that the colours were based on a theory of primary colours given to him by the German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described a late-night conversation which he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda's account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, "Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colours are not distorted. He proceeded to clarify what he meant:

After Miranda later designed his flag based on this conversation, he happily recalled seeing a fresco by Lazzaro Tavarone in the Palazzo Belimbau in Genoa that depicted Christopher Columbus unfurling a similar-coloured flag in Veragua during his fourth voyage.Serpa Erazo, Jorge, [summary of Ricardo Silva Romero's] "La Bandera del Mundo." Panol de la Historia. Part 1, Section 1 . ISSN 1900-3447. Retrieved on 2008-12-02

In his military diary, Miranda gave another possible source of inspiration: the yellow, blue and red standard of the Burger Guard (Burgerwache) of Hamburg, which he also saw during his travels in Germany.Dousdebes, Pedro Julio, "Las insignias de Colombia," Boletin de historia y antiguedades, August 1937, 462, cited in Nelson Gonzalez Ortega, "Formacion de la iconografia nacional en Colombia: una lectura semiotico-social," Revista de Estudios Colombianos, No. 16 (1996), 20.

In the 1801 plan for an army to liberate Spanish America, which he submitted unsuccessfully to the British cabinet, Miranda requested the materials for "ten flags, whose colours shall be red, yellow and blue, in three zones." However, the first flag was not raised until March 12, 1806, in Jacmel, Haiti, during his ill-fated expedition to Venezuela.

See also

Flag of Gran Colombia

List of Colombian flags

External links

Colombian flag history (Spanish)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Flag of Colombia

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